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The perfect school project – spring shoreline cleanups

By Jean Fong at Vancouver Aquarium.

Shoreline cleanups in the spring offer a great way to start off the year. They represent a unique and transformative opportunity to engage children and youth wherever land meets water. By involving students directly with their shoreline and local community, this initiative shows them how easy it is to personally make a positive change to our environment. Examples of shorelines include rivers, creeks, bogs, lakes, and oceans.

2012 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, c/o Tony and Jana Sneep.

During the winter season, litter items are often hidden by snow and slush. Once the temperatures rise and snow banks and ice begin to melt, litter items begin to reveal themselves, can easily enter our sensitive aquatic environments, and potentially stay there all summer long. Last year, in addition to the thousands of typically found litter items, some winter sport items were among some of the more unusual items. Items like skis, hockey equipment, a snow shovel and a GT snow racer are some unique examples.

Free curriculum guides are also available for each province and are a perfect complement to the cleanup experience. It can be overwhelming for students to learn about litter that travels from each of us to our shorelines, but they will also learn that they can make a difference. Each guide contains worksheets, activities and resources to give students a valuable glimpse of the big picture with our aquatic ecosystems, and show your students how they can make a real difference in restoring the health of local shorelines. A youth site coordinator manual is also available to help youth take on important leadership roles in planning your cleanup.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by! Register your group for a spring shoreline cleanup at ShorelineCleanup.ca.

See you on the shorelines!